Think Choosing Subway Is A Healthy Choice? Check This Out

Subway BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

August 2, 2011   47 Comments

What is wrong with this picture? Anyone?... Bueller?......

That is one HONKIN' slab of meat.

Usually, Snack Girl purchases food for review and then gives you the skinny - but I could not waste $3.50 on this clearly unhealthy offering from Subway.

How do I know it is unhealthy? Well, just look at it! Does that look like 8 ounces or more of meat?

Here are the nutritional facts for a 6 Inch Subway BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich:

570 calories, 17 g fat, 68 g carbohydrates, 56 g protein, 5.0 g fiber, 1340 mg sodium, 16 Points+

Nutritional facts for a McDonald's Big Mac:

540 calories, 29 g fat, 45 g carbohydrates, 24 g protein, 3 g fiber, 1040 mg sodium, 14 Points+

So the Big Mac has 30 less calories and less sodium than the Subway BBQ pulled pork sandwich. Subway is the world's biggest sandwich chain - even bigger than McDonald's - and their motto is "Eat Fresh".

Are Michael Phelps and Jared Fogle eating THIS sandwich?

My problem with Subway isn't that they are serving a BBQ Pork Sandwich. The fact is that they are going to serve whatever we want to buy. But, many people believe that Subway is the healthier choice because it's marketing juggernaut has convinced us of it.

You have to be VERY careful when you order at a Subway restaurant. I reviewed the problems with the Subway Veggie Delight here: SUBWAY Veggie Delight: FAST But Fresh and Healthy?.

Some tips for Subway ordering:

  • Avoid the MEAT sandwiches and stick to the Veggie Delight
  • Do not buy the cookies, soda, or chips
  • Order a 6-inch sub and ask for light mayo (or zero mayo)

The last time I watched The Biggest Loser, the contestants visited a Subway. They did specific things like hollow out the bread and order low calorie dressing on their sandwich.

If you make these kind of alterations to your sandwich, you will get a lower calorie option and if you load it with veggies - this can be a healthy choice.

Use your common sense! Keep in mind that a Subway Buffalo Chicken with cheese isn't that different from a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with cheese.

Do you go to Subway? What do you order?

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47 Comments:

Michael Phelps would eat that. He ate 10000 calories a day.

on August 2, 2011

10000 calories a day? Talk about the munchies! ;-)

on August 2, 2011

In all seriousness, I'd eat this, but probably only on a cheat day, actually I'd go to a real BBQ place and get the real thing.

on August 2, 2011

I get either the ham or the chicken breast no cheese or mayo. ~600 calories for a footlong. Granted the sodium is a bit high, but that doesn't really bother me.

on August 2, 2011

I like that they have charts on the glass to help you make better choices. 6 inch Veggie on 9 grain wheat with vinager and cheese... 6 points! yum!!!

on August 2, 2011

Yes! I love restaurants that openly display nutrition!

on August 2, 2011

I get the Cheesesteak Salad. It's 6 PointsPlus (with cheese!) and delicious. I don't use dressing because it doesn't need it.

on August 2, 2011

I would never eat there. Their bread contains HFCS and is nasty for you.

on August 2, 2011

Thanks. No pulled beef for me anymore.

on August 2, 2011

I like Subway! You just have to be smart about it. I usually order a salad with tuna salad on it. No salad dressing and all the veggies. It's usually big enough for me to have two meals out of it.

on August 2, 2011

The only thing I eat there is a veggie on 9 grain. I stay away from any of the veggies with preservatives/artificial colors like the pickles, banana peppers, etc. I order extra spinach and skip the worthless iceberg lettuce shreds they have. Lightly dress it with salt, pepper, little oil, little vinegar.

They used to be somewhat healthy but when Quiznos started to hit it big and eat their market share, they went to the darkside. They started adding bacon, and offering unhealthy sandwiches, lots of cookies, etc. People may go there because they feel like they are doing themselves a favor and it is 'healthy' but when I am there everyone else seems to be ordering extra cheese, chips, cookies, soda, etc. Not Subway's fault though, that is what sells.

Also, thank you for not falling prey to the 'Mom blogger' crap that McDonald's is spewing because they are throwing in apple slices now with all kids meals. So ridiculous. Have you had their apple slices? They don't taste good. They have like some lemon juice preserve or something on them. Also, I think the slices they are including are their 'apple dippers'. Dipping those in that carmel sauce would probably be worse than just eating half more fries. I do not know why this is so hard for them. Starbucks manages to sell prepackaged grapes, apples, etc. in their stuff and it actually tastes good. How hard can it be?

on August 2, 2011

I make pulled pork at home in the crock pot for a quick & easy dinner sometimes (probably not the best nutritionally), but I've also tried it with chicken - almost as good & healthier.

Throw some chicken breasts in the crock pot with BBQ sauce - easier than Subway!

on August 2, 2011

Seriously - someone would have to be purely stupid if they thought a pulled pork sandwich was going to be healthy regardless of who was selling it.
At Subway I either get the veggie delite, chicken breast or turkey. No cheese on any. Loaded veggies.
Common sense people - get over the "lets blame marketing" & get a brain.

on August 2, 2011

I think Subway is gross. If I'm going to cheat, I'd much rather have a Big Mac!
I too make pulled pork at home in crockpot with root beer. It's one of my favorite recipes.

on August 2, 2011

When I was in weight-loss mode, I ate at Subway at good bit, especially in the early days. Then it was down to once a week. These days in maintenance mode, it's like, "Oh God, I cannot STOMACH the thought of Subway." I go now, maybe once every 2-3 weeks, and almost always the roast beef, just because it's usually lower in sodium than the turkey or the ham. And I load it with nearly every veg they offer (cukes instead of pickles though).

And don't get me started on how few vegetable choices are out there. Makes Subway look like the Garden of Eden by comparison!

on August 2, 2011

Mmmm. Pulled pork. Yep, I like subway, and I ditto all the comments above - be smart and you can eat healthy there. It's hard to eat healthy at McD's or anywhere else, but it can be done if you pay attention! (McD's has all their calorie and food info on the back of the tray liners if you wanna look.)
If I were a big guy who works outside all day, i could eat this sandwich, too.... but i'm not. It's got an awesome amount of protein to get any big guy through a day of hard outdoor labor. And since the protein is double compared to the Big Mac, if you wanna compare, gals and small people could eat half the pulled pork and get the same protein for half the calories of a Big Mac. Ask Subway to cut the 6" into 2 pieces and share it with someone, or save the other half for later. Not bad with a water and a fruit on the side (i think they offer raisins or something, don't they?) Or treat yourself to a bag of chips and split it with your friend who's eating the other half of the sammie. ;)

on August 2, 2011

Bueller..........LOL Thanks for the laugh! Spiccoli........LOL

on August 2, 2011

I'm not a calorie girl, I won't count them and since I stopped I've lost weight. The problem is not inherently calories it's the type of calories. I'm most concerned with the amount of carbohydrates and sodium in the dish. If someone really wants pulled pork, I would suggest that they get some on a salad with a little bit of olive oil. It will cut calories - though not necessarily all the sodium because of the sauce used on pulled pork. In most cases I would suggest cutting the bread out all together.
For people eating salads, I agree don't put regular dressings on, but dooooo put healthy oils on, olive, grapeseed, flax (if freshly prepared). There are so many good oils you need and the fats will keep you full!
I am a fat eater and will eat as much healthy fat as I can now, now that I know it's a myth that fat itself is what makes you fat. It's really more about ingredients than calories.

on August 2, 2011

I never eat at Subway and I'm glad. I go to Goodcents quite often though, you should do a blog on that if you need an idea :) I'd be very interested to know your thoughts!

on August 2, 2011

I'm not sure why you'd bother going to Subway at all if you were just going to have to have them hollow out the bread... I mean... it is a sandwich shop.

on August 2, 2011

I love pulled pork, I really do. But like some of the other posts, I make my own. Usually from leftovers.

I'm sure I'm not the only one on a tight budget, so eating out (with 4 kids) is a rare occurance. If we're going to eat out I'm not sure Subway would be our first choice.

on August 2, 2011

I go for the Veggie Delight and never buy the chips, cookies, or pop. I usually stay away from trans-fat and HFCS but sometimes it is difficult so I go for the one that is closest to my nutritional guidelines. Will not get the peppers or pickles, etc again though. Like Nicole above, I stick with healthy fats like EVOO and rarely think about calories. It's mostly about awareness and what you know contributes to your overall health and what doesn't. And we all know deep inside.

on August 2, 2011

What is wrong w/ it? Well, it has yucky lettuce for starters ;) Spinach leaves would b better But as the saying goes u r what u eat

on August 2, 2011

I eat a low carb WOE so these days I get a salad if I go to Subway. The oven roasted chicken salad is 130 calories (and 9g carbs) and so I don't mind adding a little oil, avocado or cheese.

I USED to be a fan of the Spicy Italian which consists of just salami and pepperoni and is 1040 calories if you get the foot long (and I did).

I live in NC. If I want pulled pork I go to a proper barbecue place. Maybe that's why I don't see that sandwich advertised so much around here!

on August 2, 2011

Exactly my thoughts Lori!! We should all have the good sense to judge what we put into our bodies! The blame game is OLD and we have to take responsibility for our actions and choices no matter where we eat or what we do in life....We are the choices that we make...Period!!!! Don't blame Subway for giving people options!! Seriously....we have got to do better!

on August 2, 2011

I honestly don't have a problem with them serving this sandwich. First of all, their tagline is "eat fresh" and yet if you looked at the ingredients/fillers in their meats and breads, I doubt you'd even call them fresh, so in my mind the point is already moot! However, I think we have to hold ourselves accountable if we want to eat healthfully and not blame businesses for offering other choices. I'd also point out the fact that I think that Biggest Loser episode is really setting people up for disordered eating. It's teaching people that bread is a "bad" food, when really it can be great for you if you eat whole grain varieties and keep to serving sizes. I'd rather not eat a sandwich than hollow out my bread!

on August 2, 2011

The veggie delight is one of the WORST subway sandwiches to get! It's got over 2,000 calories loaded into that bad boy how can you possibly suggest it??

on August 2, 2011

I can make this at home, easy. Take a whole grain hot dog bun, add some meat, and I found a recipe for healthy homemade bbq sauce. Plus, I barely ever eat out and if I do, it's usually those small family Asian restaurants/diners

on August 2, 2011

I loved this post and I am currently on a crusade to raise awareness about obesity in America and how it affects just about everything going on in the country not just the person's health. So much, so much more.

Thank you for the post.

on August 2, 2011

Mitaukano - how in the world did you get 2000 calories in the veggie delight? It's 460 calories for a footlong.

on August 2, 2011

What I find useless calories in that is the sandwich bread Hubby gets the pulled pork on a salad. NO bread, veggies and protein. :) Granted, not the best meat choice (as it must have sugar in that sauce).

540 calories is not the worst for a meal out. But that crap bread at Subway is a waste of calories. I only get salads there, skip the dressing (I prefer to make my own). I've lost 113 pounds and I've eaten many a salad when I was rushed and SUBWAY was the only decent quickie option. A big salad is filling without sending my insulin through the roof.

on August 2, 2011

I go to subway when I am downtown and need to eat on the fly. Why subway you ask?
I choose a multigrain sub with all veggies, no meat,no cheese. I get a small line of lite mayo and a larger line of mustard... and ensure they go easy because noone working there will do it my way unless I ask.
THIS is why it works. One must use their common sense when it comes to fast foods. I do not as a rule eat fast foods, but in a pinch, subway works for me simply because I can INSIST on the right ingredients.
I agree with this article... subway can be loaded with fats and carbs.

on August 2, 2011

Nicole P. has it right. I too have not counted calories for 2 years and have lost weight, enough to ensure I am well within my BMI and fit all my skinny clothes now. The best part of this change is I love the way I eat. This is what I do:
1. STEVIA for coffee - does not spike blood sugars. The only sugar I get is from fruits like berries, apples, and only 1 small banana daily.
2. FATS, only Healthy - eat more now which satisfies my appetite BUT has to be healthy fats
Olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, avocados and raw nuts (walnuts, almonds mostly).
3 FIBRE - this is so very important...helps your metabolism, try for 50gms a day, but up it slowly (soluble and insoluble)
4. Krill oil - omega 3 source and better than fish oils 1000mg daily in supplement form
5. WATER - cut out soda pop and fruit juices and learn to like water (I add lemon for flavour)
6 PROTEIN - up protein and lower carbs from grains - we all need our B's and they digest slowly. I mostly eat wild salmon, legumes, plain greek yogurt and nuts and if I am short, I add vegetable protein from non GMO powders. Aim for at least 70gms a day. If I eat chicken or beef, has to come from grass fed cows and free roaming chickens without hormones.
I wish I had known to eat like this years ago and avoided 40 years of yoyo dieting which led to pre-diabetes and moderate cholesterol problems. My blood sugars are now normal and my cholesterol numbers are almost ideal, and best of the best, I have more energy to be active.
We all have some cravings that are hard to control. For me that is cheese, mostly hard cheeses..so I simply gave them up and drink a little more skim milk than ever before.
I love not dieting!!!
I love the way my clothes fit!!!
I love having my energy back!!!
and best yet, I love feeling satisfied with the food I eat!!!

on August 2, 2011

Simpliest, easy, fat free crock pot dinner: frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts in crock pot, add jar of salsa. Serve with couscous for very quick dinner; salad on the side! Family loves it and has no idea of simplicity.

on August 3, 2011

You really think they are going to put that much pork on that sandwich?

on August 3, 2011

Basing a review off a picture isn't the way to go. My subway has specific portion sizes for meat, sometimes even prepackaged. No, that photo does not look like an 8oz portion of meat, but I have never gotten a sub from subway that looks like it does in the photo. The nutritional stats are what should be looked at. I was glad to see that on here, a picture can be misleading.

on August 3, 2011

You didn't miss much by not purchasing this sandwich. Dad wanted to try it so I went with him and we did. It was bland and mushy. Don't worry about the pictured serving size. It was no where near that. Good save of $3.50.

on August 5, 2011

Michael Phelps needs to eat all these "bad" things, he's an ATHLETE.

on August 7, 2011

This sandwhich is not even that bad. Why do you people only look at the calories? On Italian bread with american cheese it comes in at 600. Not bad for what you get. Look at the fact that even though the calories are a little high they aren't empty. It supplies 57g of protein. Very useful. The sandwhich is also loaded with iron and calcium. It supplies vitamin A and C also. For someone like me who runs and worksout on a daily basis this sandwhich is perfect. Too many people want a 350 calorie meal that supplies very little nutrition. Spend some extra calories and actually get nutritional value people. By the way this post is coming from a guy with a six pack.

on August 7, 2011

Better choice than Subway - Jason's Deli! I get the Savvy Chicken Salad wrap - A LOWER-SODIUM selection! Fresh-made chicken salad with almonds and pineapple, leafy lettuce, roma tomatoes, purple onion rings in an organic wheat wrap. It has Calories 354 Calories; Total Fat 14 g;
Sodium 536 mg; Total Carbohydrate 45 g; Dietary Fiber 5 g; Sugars 8 g; Protein 16 g. It comes with a side of fruit or steamed veggies. I usually just eat half and save half for the next day. I am on a low sodium eating lifestyle.

on August 10, 2011

Normally i will just get a 6 inch tuna on white bread with white american, baked, plus cucumbers and tomatoes.

on August 14, 2011

I don't go to Subway very often but when I do I usually get the turkey salad. It's about 5 points plus (no cheese, no dressing) Once I ate there 3 days in a row (was next to the hospital where I was visiting family) and I actually came under my daily limit for those days.. They do have fat free yogurt as a side instead of chips and some of them carry fat free milk (rather than soda). FWIW the Subway I went to offered both fresh Spinach and iceburg.. so I went with Spinach.

on August 16, 2011

Yikes..I would not order pulled pork, or any meat sandwich from Subway. (or any other sub sandwich shop) If I do order, and it isn't on very frequently, I order the veg delight,hold the cheese and no mayo or any other dressing/oil they have. I call it a salad on a bun. I am a bread nut...and should not have it.. that 6 in oat bread is the treat for me.

on August 19, 2011

I'm like Norm at Cheers--except instead of pulling a beer, the staff of my Subway knows automatically to put a 6" turkey with no cheese, mustard or mayo on 9-grain bread. All the veggies except jalepenos, and a drizzle of oil and vinegar. Holds me till dinner.

on August 28, 2011

I echo Joey B's comments above. Comparing only the sodium and calories in a Big Mac to this Subway sandwich isn't a useful comparison, particularly since the difference in calories between them is only 30. At 4 calories per gram of protein, the Subway sandwich would have more than 100 additional calories than a Big Mac because of its significantly higher protein content. But the Subway sandwich doesn't contain that many more calories. Why? Because a Big Mac gets a lot of its calories from fat in the sauce and cheese. Yes, the Subway sandwich also has a lot more carbs than a Big Mac, and that's obviously due to the larger roll (6" sub roll versus the bun a Big Mac comes in). If you honestly had only a choice between Subway's pulled pork sandwich and a Big Mac, the far healthier choice would be Subway's offering.

I agree with many of the posters above, however, and think that all of Subway's breads are horrible. I'd much rather go to a local BBQ joint and get a sandwich on bread that's not so laden with chemicals.

on October 31, 2011

I personally like Quiznoes. However, I eat at Subway once in awhile. I either get the 6 inch meat ball sandwich, steak and cheese, or ham an turkey sandwich. I stopped getting the chips drink or cookie. I eat fruit on the side or if I want chips I measure out a serving (and eat some fruit if I am still hungry). Maybe it may have more calories or sodium but what about fat? To be honest I would rather eat a pulled pork sandwich from a BBQ restaurant and I rather eat a hamburger from a bar and grill then from MCDs.

on August 10, 2013

I have had the 6 inch pulled pork and I loved it. I'm not worried about calories because I don't eat the pork Sub but maybe 2 times a year when they have.

on September 1, 2016


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